Newcastle win Championship, Blackburn relegated on dramatic final day

Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray
Blackburn stand on the precipice as Tony Mowbray strives for salvation
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08 May, 2017

Newcastle were crowned champions on a dramatic final day in the Championship, while Blackburn Rovers became the first former Premier League champion to be relegated to the third tier.

Brighton finished second after drawing 1-1 at mid-table Aston Villa, while at the other end of the table Nottingham Forest pulled off a narrow escape as 1995 Premier League champions Blackburn Rovers were relegated.

Instead, it is Blackburn Rovers who go down despite a 3-1 win against the Bees. They've seen eight different managers - starting with Sam Allardyce, who was ousted within a month of the team's new ownership taking over - and have fallen down to the third bracket for the first time in almost 40 seasons.

Blackburn's demise has been a long time in the making and is arguably a result of a lack of investment from controversial owners Venky's.

As the fateful matches unfolded across the country, Rovers fans rode a whirl of emotions, lurching from optimism to joy, then to fear and, finally, despair anger. "The owners deserve it". Without much further to fall, club's fortunes eventually have to turn around.

"Ideally, we'll start this journey with it being as low as this club gets", Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray said, "and move forward". "We want our Rovers back" demanded the travelling fans at he final whistle, unsure whether their heavily-indebted club has even hit rock bottom.

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Birmingham won 1-0 at Bristol City to survive, meaning its decision to hire Harry Redknapp with three games left in a last-ditch attempt to stave off relegation paid off.

However, by the time Craig Conway converted a late penalty to make it 3-1, the game was up as Forest and Birmingham were winning.

Che Adams scored the only goal at Ashton Gate and Redknapp, who signed a short-term deal to replace Gianfranco Zola, said: "I don't need to be chasing work". "What's that? Beijing in China? I'm off to China!"

However, Villa's Jack Grealish equalised through a long-range effort in the 89th minute to peg Brighton back, allowing the Magpies, who beat Barnsley 3-0, to leapfrog to the top.

The Owls will face Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town, who have lost successive matches after being beaten 3-0 at home to Cardiff.


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